Improving Wastewater Mixing and Oxygenation Efficiency with Solar Powered Circulation (SPC)
Electrical-grid powered aeration is used to mix and oxygenate wastewater in most treatment plants. However, much more mixing than oxygenation typically is needed. This imbalance creates an operational inefficiency that increases costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services directed a 3-site study to assess the ability of solar powered circulation (SPC) to reduce or eliminate the need for aeration. Water quality, odor event, sludge buildup and power consumption data were collected 1-year pre-SPC and 1.25-years during-SPC. The results generally indicated no differences between study periods in effluent flow rates, total suspended solids, biochemical oxygen demand, dissolved oxygen, pH, ammonia or nitrate levels. No discharge violations or odor events, and little or no sludge buildup, occurred during SPC. Power consumption declined by 43-91%, and payback periods were 1.5-3.9 years. These data and a 25-year, low maintenance, SPC-unit life expectancy indicated a long-term improvement in operational efficiency.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 January 2010
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